Austin Fire Museum - Preserving The History And Traditions Of The Austin Fire Department.

Hope Hook & Ladder Company No. 2

Year Organized: 1875
Year Disbanded: 1882

Hope Hook and Ladder Company Number 2 was organized in 1875 and appointed John Chenneville as their first foreman.

Hope Number 2 was the first Austin fire company to adopt the use of horses. The Hope fire hall was situated near the corner of 4th Street and Colorado Street.

The company disbanded in 1882 after seven short years, but during that time they made the 1881 burning of the Old Capitol building. The Hope Hook and Ladder truck can be seen in the infamous photo of the 1853 era Capitol Building in flames. The apparatus is white, and situated in the foreground of the photograph.

Hope Number 2´s greatest accomplishment was winning the ladder raising competition in the Texas Firemen´s Convention held in Waco in May 1878. They beat Galveston´s Phoenix "Smokey" Number 2 in a controversial match that resulted in a bitter protest. The event consisted of running 250 yards, removing ladders from the truck, and mounting them against the Napier building. Hope Number 2 completed the feat in one minute and eighteen seconds, beating the Galveston company by eight and three-quarter seconds. A champagne supper was held in their honor in Waco, along with being presented a gold medal bearing the inscription: "Hope No. 2, the Champion Hook and Ladder Company of Texas, May 10, 1878." Upon the company´s return to Austin there was a torchlight procession and a champagne supper given in its honor in the banquet room over Charles Cortissoz´ saloon. The occasion was reported twenty years later in 1898 as "a jollification the memory of which has not yet grown dim."